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We list the chromosome numbers for 65 species of Neotropical Hesperiidae and 104 species or subspecies of Pieridae. In Hesperiidae the tribe Pyrrhopygini have a modal n = 28, Eudaminae and Pyrgini a modal n = 31, while Hesperiinae have n = around 29. Among Pieridae, Coliadinae have a strong modal n = 31 and among Pierinae Anthocharidini are almost fixed for n = 15 while Pierini vary with n = 26 as the most common chromosome number. Dismorphiinae show wide variation. We discuss these results in the context of chromosome numbers of over 1400 Neotropical butterfly species and subspecies derived from about 3000 populations published here and in earlier papers of a series. The overall results show that many Neotropical groups are characterized by karyotype instability with several derived modal numbers or none at all, while almost all taxa of Lepidoptera studied from the other parts of the world have one of n = 29–31 as modal numbers. Possibly chromosome number changes become fixed in the course of speciation driven by biotic interactions. Population subdivision and structuring facilitate karyotype change. Factors that stabilize chromosome numbers include hybridization among species sharing the same number, migration, sexual selection and possibly the distribution of chromosomes within the nucleus.